4 DaVinci Methods to Energize Your Offsite

Offsites should be energizing, invigorating, inspiring, collaborating, and (INSERT your own active tense verb!). To accomplish this, planning is needed to ensure the right group dynamics to make your offsite a success.

Brainstorming with Da Vinci methods are designed to energize!

There are many different methods that can be applied to an offsite depending on your desired outcome. I thought I would cover a few of them in this blog post for you to consider for your next offsite.

Obvious Springboard Method

How many times to you heard: We tried that before?

This little comment can be deflating and take the positivity out of the room. To avoid this, I recommend using the Obvious Springboard method. This method is designed to open the team up to possibilities by removing the things people have tried prior.

With this method, you ask the team to list past solutions related to your offsite objective. You write the list on a flipchart. When you begin brainstorming, this list is out of bounds forcing people to think of original ideas.

You may experience a weird group dynamic with this method. When you begin brainstorming people may be silent for a bit. This is normal due to the fact you just removed many obvious, top-of-mind solutions.

Read more about the Obvious Springboard Method from Brainstorming with Da Vinci (Chapter 21).

Location Inspiration Method

Ask yourself this question: Is the destination inspirational or just a conference room in another building?

If your team is going to spend a day or more at the location, I recommend finding a location that will get their creative juices flowing. There are many options for creative destinations. I have used art museums or galleries as an option. For example, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) offers companies a private meeting space. This offers a place to meet, plus an inspirational environment between sessions.

Read more about the Location Inspiration Method from Brainstorming with Da Vinci (Chapter 33).

Fusion Method

This method is a way to stretch the team’s imagination on what could be. Most people are knowledgeable within their discipline and industry and default to what they know when generating ideas. Fusion takes approaches outside of their knowledgebase to think of novel solutions.

For example, if you Google “company leading employee engagement” you will get examples of how companies implemented innovative employee engagement strategies. From this list, pick three approaches you feel will inspire your team to think differently. Then in the session, present the company’s approach and have your team use it as a springboard to generate ideas for your company.

Read more about the Fusion Method from Brainstorming with Da Vinci (Chapter 23).

Flip the Idea Method

If your goal is to generate ideas and build consensus at the same time, I would recommend the Flip the Idea method.

The Flip the Idea method requires two or more brainstorming teams to implement.

At the beginning of the session, both teams independently generate ideas. After an agreed upon time (usually one or two hours), the teams select their favorite idea and swap ideas with the other team. Then the brainstorming continues as the teams work on each other’s ideas.

On a personal note, this is a fascinating method, because many people are surprised where the team took their idea – often to places they never imagined.

Read more about the Flip the Idea Method from Brainstorming with Da Vinci (Chapter 34).

Final Thoughts: Choreographing Success

In conclusion, the best advice I can give you is to choreograph your offsite for success. Think about:

  • Make sure sessions have a measurable objective to focus ideas.
  • Think through the group dynamics to maximize collaboration when assigning people to brainstorming teams.
  • Create stimulus and environment to inspire people to think differently.
  • Keep the energy high by rotating different brainstorming methods.

And finally, have fun – brainstorming should be a memorable, enjoyable experience.

One Final, Final Thought: Da Vinci with a Twist

One way to kick off your offsite is with Da Vinci with a Twist session. This entertaining session provides an overview of the Da Vinci approach and then people break into groups and apply different methods to a topic of your choosing. The session not only jumpstarts your offsite, but it also provides participants with methods they can apply in other sessions.

If you want to learn more about Da Vinci with a Twist click here.